Spenser Confidential

Mark Wahlberg in 'Spenser Confidential.' (Netflix/Daniel McFadden)
Mark Wahlberg in 'Spenser Confidential.' (Netflix/Daniel McFadden)


2/5 Stars


Spenser, an ex-cop and ex-con, teams up with aspiring fighter Hawk to uncover a sinister conspiracy tied to the deaths of two Boston police officers.


I really wanted to like Spenser Confidential. I really, really wanted to like it. I generally enjoy watching Mark Wahlberg, he has the ability to lend gravitas to a drama like in The Departed and then be expectantly funny in something like The Other Guys. And then throw in a bit of sweet dad and husband in Instant Family.

This is Wahlberg’s fifth movie with Peter Berg at the helm, so I expected it to be better than the end result. This movie has him teaming up with Winston Duke, aka our King Mbaku. It should have been a good movie, but somehow it just misses the mark.

The action-comedy from director Peter Berg tells the story of ex-cop Spenser who has just got out of jail for assaulting his commanding officer and is planning to leave Boston because he is done with this town. Done! But are Boston boys ever really done with their town? No, they are not, and Spenser gets roped into training his old boxing coach’s newest recruit, Hawk (Winston Duke). In the process, he also stumbles across some shady dealings in the Boston Police Department that had to do with him being locked up.

The trailer to this movie made it seem like it would be funny but somehow seeing those parts play out in the movie fell flat. It also seems like they used all the funny parts in the trailer. The plot is predictable and therefore, boring. We know who the bad guy is because people are sketchy early on so obviously it’s his ex-partner. The action scenes are nothing more than the usual skop, skiet en donner and even though Hawk is meant to be this amazing MMA fighter his only role in this “dynamic” duo is that he throws punches. Oh, and he drove a car through a restaurant window.

There is nothing dynamic about this duo, however. Despite their differences, Hawk and Spenser get along pretty quickly and effortlessly. The dialogue ought to be witty and fun, but it comes across as stale. There’s something missing from this equation, and I can’t quite put my finger on what it is. It just needs some life because I have never been so bored watching a Mark Wahlberg action movie in my life. I had to rewatch Lone Survivor to remind myself that Wahlberg and Berg can actually make good movies together, this was just not it.



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